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Publisher's Summary

Learn the basic techniques every successful playwright knows

Among the many "how-to" playwriting books that have appeared over the years, there have been few that attempt to analyze the mysteries of play construction. Lajos Egri's classic, The Art of Dramatic Writing, does just that, with instruction that can be applied equally well to a short story, novel, or screenplay.

Examining a play from the inside out, Egri starts with the heart of any drama: its characters. All good dramatic writing hinges on people and their relationships, which serve to move the story forward and give it life, as well as an understanding of human motives - why people act the way that they do. Using examples from everything from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Egri shows how it is essential for the author to have a basic premise - a thesis, demonstrated in terms of human behavior - and to develop the dramatic conflict on the basis of that behavior.

Using Egri's ABCs of premise, character, and conflict, The Art of Dramatic Writing is a direct, jargon-free approach to the problem of achieving truth in writing.

©2017 BN Publishing (P)2017 BN Publishing

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  • Story

Great book, mandatory for any story-driven creative writing, but a very long-winded book

This book is very fact-filled and it’s definitely beneficial for people who are interested in any form a creative writing that deals with storytelling.

I really feel the chapters run on very long, some of the themes and his terminologies are repeated way too much. Also, the author keeps quoting from different plays a lot, in a really comes off as him trying to add length to the book.

There are question and answer section in this book. It feels like the author is asking his questions and giving his answers to them: it does come off as very narcissistic and self indulged, to a point where it takes away from the book.

There is a section of the book where the author references a play that uses the N-word—this book was written in the 1940s, and that referenced play was about the racial issues at that time. Even though they did have a discretion message about the chapter, The whole chapter should be omitted from the book and the recording, or even just that section of the play—I did find offensive because it seems like excessive use of racial language is inescapable wherever you go even with books on recordings and I did feel it was a unsettling and added for shock.

The recording was well read.

I do think Audible is not really good with dividing their chapters for writers who write both long and short sections. In this book, 10 chapters that are small, the next chapter in the audible recording would be after those 10 chapters. other books that I’ve read, there are sections that go on for hundreds of pages, So each audible chapter can be over an hour, and you have to stop in the middle of those 100 pages so it’s hard to find your place again. If they’re going to have a chapter book like this one that has a lot of small chapters, I would want the recordings to begin and end at each chapter, not after 10 chapters being read; I do feel like that makes the book harder to read when you have to sit through an hour and a half, because I tend to read the start and end of an audible chapter, I don’t like stopping in the middle of sections that go on for hundreds of pages, Or in the middle of a recording That includes 10 or more small chapters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Who Knew?

I learned more about the depths of the human psyche in this book than any of my university psych courses. I've been looking for this book my entire life. Who knew?

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Dated

This is not really a full review. This is more a warning that this book was written in the 1940s. I did not notice that before ordering it. I tried for several hours to listen to it and was somewhat overwhelmed by how flat the narration was and how exhaustive the examples were; to the point where I forgot what was being discussed. There are better books out there on the subject.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • ANN ARBOR, MI, United States
  • 09-23-17

Abstract to the extreme. Returning it!

Author discusses elements such as character and action by discussing science ad nauseum (Protozoa, chemical elements, etc.) Extremely unhelpful approach and a frustrating waste of time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Zara
  • 12-16-17

Provide fundamental principles

This book provides the principle of story writing and creating healthy conflicts in plays and screenplays.
The narrator was fast.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful